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Is a hot dog a sandwich? Nathan's eating contest is time to tell truth


Is a hot dog a sandwich? Nathan's eating contest is time to tell truth

Hi guys, Jess Kleinschmidt here to ruin your day. Just kidding. Kind of.

But I am here to bring a take -- a very hot take I have been sitting on for the past five years, and the Fourth of July is the perfect time of year to bring said take.

Ahem, here we go.

A hot dog is a sandwich. There ... I said it.

Now, I want you to know I do have some backup on this. 

For me, it's pretty simple. If you can put a piece of meat on a split roll -- BOOM! -- you have a sandwich.

One definition of a sandwich is when you have "two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between." That is from Merriam-Webster.com, fam.


"Sandwich" also is defined as one slice of bread covered with food, so don't act as if you've never run out of buns and used a piece of bread instead. Because you have. And so has Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson.

So did Steph Curry when we asked him a couple of years back.

And when a hot dog is served in a roll, it's also a sandwich. Again, Webster said this, so get angry with him, not me. 

Jeff Mauro, host of Food Network's "Sandwich King," weighed in on the debate with "The Daily Beast" after he admitted, "People argue over this like sports."

“The definitive answer is yes!" he said. "Because there is the kingdom of sandwiches, and then you have the class of horizontal-cased meats, and under that in the phylum is a hot dog.

"It’s between carbs. It’s hand-held. It eats and chews like a sandwich, and there are two independent sides.”

Now, this could create debate on what exactly is defined as a roll, but you can argue amongst yourselves because I have enough on my plate.

For fun, I also bring in other sources to back you die-hard non-sandwichers.

One, Joey Chestnut -- the hot dog eating champion of the world -- has told me it's definitely not a sandwich. He's also told MLB.com's Cut4 the same.

That's right -- I came to class prepared.

Two, The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, that's a thing) made a call:

"Our verdict is … a hot dog is an exclamation of joy, a food, a verb describing one 'showing off' and even an emoji. It is truly a category unto its own."

So basically, a hot dog is a just ... a hot dog, according to the council. 

Some have even called it ... a taco

Despite how you feel about what category -- or what family the hot dog belongs to -- people everywhere are fascinated by this question, especially this time of year when ESPN hosts Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Bay Area native Chestnut again will participate in the contest we love to hate-watch.

The annual event will air on ESPN at 7:45 a.m. PT for the women and 9 a.m. PT for the men. 

Hope you enjoy celebrating America and watching women and men stuff their faces with ... sandwiches. 

Everything you need to know about Cal Olympic swimmer Abbey Weitzeil

Everything you need to know about Cal Olympic swimmer Abbey Weitzeil

Abbey Weitzeil came to Cal with plenty of pedigree. 

She arrived in Berkeley in the fall of 2016, soon after competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Weitzeil had two Olympic medals -- a silver in the 400-meter freestyle relay and gold in the 400-meter medley relay -- before she swam a single race for the Golden Bears. 

Now, Weitzeil is eyeing a ticket to Tokyo. She can seal her spot on the 2020 United States Olympic Swimming Team at the Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Neb. in June. 

Here's everything you need to know about the Cal star swimmer. 


Name: Abbey Weitzeil
Age: 23
Sport: Swimming 
College: Cal

Olympic History

Weitzeil won a gold medal as part of the United States' 400-meter medley relay team, swimming the freestyle leg in the preliminaries to secure the Americans' spot in the final. She also anchored the 400-meter freestyle relay team in the final of that race, earning a silver medal in the process.

The Saugus, Calif. native also swam in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events, finishing seventh and 12th, respectively. She and Simone Manuel, who silvered in both, were the only Americans who swam in those races.

Fun Facts

Weitzeil originally started swimming as a 9-year-old, and only because her sisters did it. She wasn't a fan of weekend practices, either, and briefly gave up on the sport. 

"It just wasn't for me at the time and I didn't like it, so I quit," she said told NBC Sports in the feature story embedded in this piece. "And then I immediately was like, 'You know what, I miss it -- for some reason, I don't why.' So I went back to it, and when I started dedicating myself and going to all the practices and everything, that's when I started to take off and really realize that I like it."

It's safe to say she made the right call. Here are some more facts about Weitzeil. 

  • She set the American, U.S. Open and NCAA record in the 50-meter freestyle (21.02 seconds) in March 2019 and broke her own record in December (20.90 seconds) at the Minnesota Invitational. Weitzel became the first woman to cross the 21-second threshold.
  • Her national team experience has only gotten more extensive since Rio. She silvered in the 400-meter freestyle relay at the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea, and she represented the United States at the 2017 Worlds in the 50-meter freestyle.
  • Weitzeil originally committed to Cal in 2014 and would've started at Berkeley in 2015 had she not competed in the Olympics. She is a public health major. 

Social Media

Twitter: @abbeyweitzeil
Instagram: @abbeyweitzeil

NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California reveal brand-new studio

NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California reveal brand-new studio

NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California are about to get a whole new look. 

The home of Authentic Bay Area Sports will unveil its new state-of-the-art studio Saturday at 6:30 p.m. with "Sharks Pregame Live."

The sleek 2,270 square-foot studio boasts an interactive demo area and multiple anchor and reporter positions designed for movement and flexibility. 

“Our new studios will provide our anchors, analysts and insiders the ability to provide the region’s most comprehensive, informative and entertaining sports coverage across multiple platforms,” NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Murphy said in a statement. "We’ve created a world-class facility that is designed for innovation and the creation of compelling content for local sports fans.”

Every part of the studio can be used as a broadcast location, thanks to the litany of large displays integrated into its architecture, and a sleek LED display running the length of the studio forms the backdrop for the main anchor area. Located at the network's headquarters at 360 3rd Street in San Francisco, the studio includes 120 LED tiles in all: 75 are in the walls, and 45 are on the demo area's floor.

The studio, which was designed as part of a partnership between NBC Sports and the design group at Jack Morton Worldwide, primarily will serve as the main set for Warriors, Giants and 49ers pregame and postgame shows, as well as news updates, press conferences, breaking news and magazine shows.

A secondary studio will debut with "Sharks Pregame Live" on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m., and it primarily will host NBC Sports California's pre- and postgame shows, news updates, press conferences and breaking news.